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Famous Mathematicians

Mathematics is a field that many people shy away from, but there are some who had a passion
for numbers and making discoveries regarding equations, measurements, and other numerical
solutions in history. They looked for ways to understand the world as it relates to numbers and
their contributions have been very important for their generation and beyond. Below is a list of
names and accomplishments of the greatest mathematicians of all time. You can read through the
list and learn more about these people and how they used their mathematical abilities to make
their mark on the world.
Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
Nationality: German, American
Famous For: E=m*c
2

Albert Einstein excelled in mathematics early in
his childhood. He liked to study math on his own.
He was once quoted as saying, I never failed in
mathematicsbefore I was fifteen I had mastered
differential integral calculus.
Isaac Newton (1642-1727)
Nationality: English
Famous For:Mathematical Principles of
Natural Philosophy
The book of Sir Isaac Newton, Mathematical
Principles of Natural Philosophy, became the
catalyst to understanding mechanics. He is
also the person credited for the development
of the binomial theorem.
Leonardo Pisano Bigollo
(1170-1250)
Nationality: Italian
Famous For: Fibonacci sequence
Heralded as the most talented western
mathematician of the middle ages, Leonardo
Pisano Bigollo is better known as Fibonacci. He
introduced the Arabic-Hindu number system to
the western world. In his book, Liber Abaci
(Book of Calculation), he included a sequence of
numbers that are known today as Fibonacci
numbers.
Thales (c. 624 c.547/546
BC)
Nationality: Greek
Famous For: Father of science & Thales
theorem
Thales used principles of mathematics,
specifically geometry, to solve everyday
problems. He is considered as the first true
mathematician. His deductive reasoning
principles are applied in geometry that is a
product of Thales Theorem.
Pythagoras (c. 570 c. 495
BC)
Nationality: Greek
Famous For: Pythagorean theorem
Pythagoras is best known in mathematics for the
Pythagorean Theorem.
Ren Descartes (1596-
1650)
Nationality: French
Famous For: Cartesian coordinate system
The Cartesian coordinate system in
mathematics is named after Rene Descartes.
As a mathematician, he is seen as the father of
analytical geometry in addition to explaining
infinitesimal calculus and analysis.
Archimedes (c. 287 c. 212
BC)
Nationality: Greek
Famous For: Greatest mathematician of
antiquity
Archimedes provided principles and methods
used in mathematics today. He provided the exact
numerical value of pi, developed a system for
large numbers to be expressed, and the method of
exhaustion.
John Forbes Nash, Jr.
(1928)
Nationality: American
Famous For: Nash embedding theorem
The work of American mathematician John
Nash includes studies in differential geometry,
game theory, and partial differential equations.
He is best known for the Nash embedding
theorem. His work in algebraic geometry is
also seen as milestone in mathematics.
Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)
Nationality: French
Famous For: Pascals Triangle
Pascal is recognized for two mathematical areas
of study, projective geometry and probability
theory. He describes in his paper, Treatise on the
Arithmetical Triangle, an easy to understand
table of binomial coefficients known as
Pascals Triangle
Euclid (c. 365 c. 275
BC)
Nationality: Greek
Famous For: Father of geometry
The earliest known math books is one
written by Greek mathematician Euclid,
Elements is its title. It serve as a textbook to
teach geometry and mathematics. His
mathematical system is known as Euclidean
geometry.
Aryabhata (c. 476 c. 550)
Nationality: Indian
Famous For: Writing ryabhaya and the Arya-
siddhanta
Indian mathematician Aryabhattas contribution
include his work on providing an approximate
value to pi. He likewise touched on the concepts
of sine, cosine, and the place-value system.
Ptolemy (c. 90 c. 168
AD)
Nationality: Greco-Roman
Famous For: Almagest
Ptolemy was a mathematician of the highest
order. In his book Almagest, or The
Mathematical Compilation, Ptolemy provides
mathematical theories related to the solar
system.
Ada Lovelace (1815-1852)
Nationality: English
Famous For: Work on the Analytical Engine
English mathematician Ada Lovelace is
recognized as the worlds first computer
programmer. Her mathematical skills were
evident at an early age. As part of her work, she
produced a mathematical algorithm that would be
later used in computers.
Alan Turing (1912-1954)
Nationality: British
Famous For: Father of computer science
Turings fame as a mathematician can be
attributed to his formulating of algorithms and
computations for a computer, the Turing
Machine. His mathematical background
helped device techniques in code breaking,
specifically in world war 2. In 1948 Turing
became interested in mathematical biology.
Srinivasa Ramanujan (1887-
1920)
Nationality: Indian
Famous For: Landau-Ramanujan constant
Ramanujan was a genius in mathematics. He
helped expand mathematical theory, particularly
in continued fractions, infinite series,
mathematical analysis, and number theory. He
conducted mathematical research in seclusion.
Benjamin Banneker
(1731-1806)
Nationality: African American
Famous For: Calculating a solar eclipse
Benjamin Banneker was a self-taught
mathematician. He used his mathematical
skills to predict an eclipse and the seventeen-
year cycle of locusts.
Omar Khayym (1048-1131)
Nationality: Persian
Famous For: Treatise on Demonstration of
Problems of Algebra
Omar Khayyam wrote one of the most important
books in mathematics, Treatise on Demonstration
of Problems of Algebra from which most
algebraic principles have been drawn from. In the
area of geometry, Khayyam worked on the
theory of proportions.
Eratosthenes (276 194
BC)
Nationality: Greek
Famous For: Sieve of Eratosthenes
Eratosthenes provided the concept of a simple
algorithm as a way to locate prime numbers.
The Sieve of Eratosthenes that has been used
to find prime numbers.
John von Neumann (1903-
1957)
Nationality: Hungarian
Famous For: Operator theory and quantum
mechanics
The mathematical evaluation of self-replication
by John von Neumann came before the DNA
model was introduced. Other mathematical
subjects he tackled include the mathematical
formulation of quantum mechanics, game
theory, mathematical statistics and mathematical
economics. His contribution to the study of the
operator theory is equally important.
Pierre de Fermat (1601-
1665)
Nationality: French
Famous For: Fermats Last Theorem
As an amateur mathematician, de Fermat is
given recognition for his work that has led to
infinitesimal calculus. He applied the use of
adequality in explaining his mathematical
constructs. De Fermats also contributed to the
math fields of analytic geometry, differential
calculus, and number theory.
John Napier (1550-1617)
Nationality: Scottish
Famous For: Inventing logarithms
John Napier is responsible for manufacturing
logarithms. It was also he who applied the
everyday use of the decimal point in mathematics
Gottfried Wilhelm
Leibniz (1646-1716)
Nationality: German
Famous For: Infinitesimal calculus
The work of Leibniz on infinitesimal calculus
was one completely separate from Isaac
and arithmetic. Napiers bones was an abacus
created by John. The device was used mainly for
multiplication problems.
Newton. His mathematical notation continues
to be in use. He also proposed the
mathematical principle known as the
Transcendental Law of Homogeneity. His
refining of the binary system has become
foundational in mathematics.
Andrew Wiles (1953)
Nationality: Proving Fermats Last Theorem
Famous For: British
Andrew Wiles was successful in proving
Fermats Last Theorem. He also used the
Iwasawa theory to identify elliptic curves using
its complex multiplication system. Wiles, with a
colleague, worked on rational numbers under the
Iwasawa theory.
David Hilbert (1862-
1943)
Nationality: German
Famous For: Hilberts basis theorem
In cumulative algebra, the use of Hilberts
basis theory has produced varying results.
David Hilbert explored and improved on ideas
such as axiomatization of geometry and the
invariant theory. Functional analysis, a
branch of mathematical analysis, is based on
the formulation of Hilberts spaces theory.
Daniel Bernoulli (1700-1782)
Nationality: Swiss
Famous For: Bernoulli principle
Hydrodynamica by Daniel Bernoulli was a book
that touched on mathematical principles applied
in other sciences.
Luca Pacioli (1445-1517)
Nationality: Italian
Famous For: Father of accounting
Fifteenth century friar and mathematician
Luca Pacioli developed an accounting or
bookkeeping methods that are still in use
today. Because of this, Pacioli is viewed by
many as the father of accounting.
Georg Cantor (1845-1918)
Nationality: German
Famous For: Inventor of set theory
George Boole (1815-1864)
Nationality: English
Famous For: Boolean algebra
One of the basic theories in mathematics is the
set theory, thanks to the work of Georg Cantor.
He helped define the importance of the one-to-
one correspondence principle as well as
introduce cardinal and ordinal numbers.
George Boole and his ideas on mathematics
were in the field of algebraic logic and
differential equations. He is the source of what
is known as Boolean logic in algebra. This
and other mathematical concepts are part of
his bookThe Laws of Thought.
variste Galois (1811-1832)
Nationality: French
Famous For: Theory of Equations
Galois worked on abstract algebra and the theory
of equations. He also set forth a solution to the
polynomial equation which is know as the
Galois theory.
Sophie Germain (1776-
1831)
Nationality: French
Famous For: Sophie Germain prime numbers
Sophie Germain worked extensively in the
mathematical field of number theory and
differential geometry. She helped lay possible
solutions to Ferrats Last Theorem. Sophies
work with number theory earned her
recognition and having numbers named after
her, Sophie Germain prime.
Emmy Noether (1882-1935)
Nationality: German
Famous For: Abstract algebra
Emmy Noether and her work on abstract algebra
makes her one of the most important
mathematicians of her time. She introduced
theories on algebraic variants and number fields.
In Noethers paper, Theory of Ideals in Ring
Domains, she presented her ideas on the
commutative ring, an abstract algebra sub area.
Edward Witten (1951)
Nationality: American
Famous For: String theory
Edward Witten specialized in the field of
mathematical physics. He brought together
math concepts and basic